SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have locked up another key homegrown player.
First baseman Brandon Belt agreed to terms on a five-year extension Friday, per multiple sources. Financial details were not immediately available, but per sources, Belt’s deal is similar to Brandon Crawford's six-year, $75 million deal, but expected to be slightly bigger.
As talks approached the finish line, the two sides were said to be discussing an average annual value of about $16 million per year from 2017 on, with an expected tweak to his current one-year deal for 2016.
The Giants declined comment Friday, as did Belt's representative. Belt was not made available to the media after a 3-2 walk-off win over the Dodgers, and several teammates -- speaking on the condition of anonymity -- said they honestly did not know a deal had been reached. The plan is for an official announcement from the team to come Saturday.
This deal continues a trend for the Giants, and comes just five months after Crawford signed a long-term deal. Belt, who avoided arbitration in February by agreeing to a $6.2 million salary for this year, would have been a free agent following the 2017 season.
The 27-year-old batted .280 last season with a .356 on-base percentage and .478 slugging percentage. A fan favorite known as the “Baby Giraffe," Belt hit a career-high 18 homers and was nominated for a Gold Glove for the first time. His 2015 season was shortened by a concussion, his second in two years and third going back to his college career. The injury history is an odd one, which the Giants hoped might help encourage Belt to make a deal that might eliminate some future risk. On the flip side, Belt has always — correctly — argued that his injuries have been fluky. The concussions came from a wayward throw by former teammate Marco Scutaro and a knee to the head when Belt was sliding back into second base. He also lost 50 games in 2014 when a Paul Maholm pitch broke his thumb.
The Giants and Belt ultimately found middle ground on a deal that satisfies one of Belt’s main requirements entering negotiations: He wanted to be guaranteed of staying around as long as the rest of the team’s homegrown core.
Crawford signed a deal that should keep him a Giant through 2021. Buster Posey’s blockbuster deal could extend through 2022, and the Giants hold club options that should keep Madison Bumgarner around until at least 2019. Bumgarner is now represented by the same agency — Excel — that represents Belt, and at some point will get a new deal. Joe Panik and Matt Duffy, the other members of the best young infield in baseball, have not yet reached arbitration.
The Giants believe all of their infielders can be All-Stars, and one by one, they’re making sure they’re around for years to come.